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Old 19-02-2004, 10:34 PM
Evan
 
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Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

This weekend my housemate and I are going to try some homemade
liqueur-making. The stuff I'm starting with will be mostly citrus
liqueurs or citrus-flavored (undiluted/unsweetend) vodkas.

In addition to some clear vodka-based recipes cut with plenty of
simple syrup, I want to try to make a more intense, Grand Marnier-like
brandy-based liqueur.

However, I know next to nothing about brandy. Obviously I don't want
to spend top dollar for an experimental recipe, but I don't want to
cut it too cheap either lest the product be doomed from the start.
:-)

So, what brandies would you suggest for an upstart homemade liqueur
hobbyist?

Thanks and cheers,

E

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Old 19-02-2004, 10:55 PM
The Ranger
 
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Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

Evan wrote in message
om...
This weekend my housemate and I are going to try some homemade
liqueur-making.

[snip]
I want to try to make a more intense, Grand Marnier-like
brandy-based liqueur.

However, I know next to nothing about brandy. Obviously
I don't want to spend top dollar for an experimental recipe,
but I don't want to cut it too cheap either lest the product
be doomed from the start. :-)

So, what brandies would you suggest for an upstart homemade
liqueur hobbyist?


Christian Brothers' brandy; versatile and if you ruin a couple batches you
won't choke on the cost.

If all you want is fruit-infused brandy, though, Clear Creek and DeKuyper
both make good alternatives. The Clear Creek apple 8 year is a fine dessert
brandy. SWMBO prefers DeKuper Apricot over French Vanilla ice cream.

The Ranger


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Old 19-02-2004, 11:40 PM
Joseph Littleshoes
 
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Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

Evan wrote:

This weekend my housemate and I are going to try some homemade
liqueur-making. The stuff I'm starting with will be mostly citrus
liqueurs or citrus-flavored (undiluted/unsweetend) vodkas.

In addition to some clear vodka-based recipes cut with plenty of
simple syrup, I want to try to make a more intense, Grand Marnier-like

brandy-based liqueur.

However, I know next to nothing about brandy. Obviously I don't want
to spend top dollar for an experimental recipe, but I don't want to
cut it too cheap either lest the product be doomed from the start.
:-)

So, what brandies would you suggest for an upstart homemade liqueur
hobbyist?

Thanks and cheers,

E


You might want to do some research on "Ratafias"

Note: Often times in the U.S. "grain alcohol" is labled and sold as
"brandy" while in actuality real "brandy" is a twice distilled wine
whose alcohol content is increased through, iirc, fractional
distillation (pot still?). But by shopping around one can find a decent,
real "brandy" that is relatively inexpensive and can be used for the
following.

"Ratafias, or household liqueurs, which were very popular, are no longer
fashionable nowadays, which is very regrettable. Ratafias can be made
with all sorts of fruit.
Put the chosen fruit into a wide mouthed jar and cover with colourless
brandy. Cover the jar tightly and expose to the sun for 40 days.
Decant and add 1/2 pint, cooled, boiled sugar syrup to each 4 & 1/4
cups fruit juice. Filter and put into stoppered bottles."

also

Ratafia de merises
(wild cherry ratafia)

-------------------------

3 lbs. wild cherries

7 - 8 pints colourless brandy

2 lbs. sugar

Stem and stone the cherries. Pound half the stones, put them into a
wide mouthed jar and cover with brandy.

Put the cherries in another jar, cover with 7 pints brandy, close the
jar tightly and expose to the sun for 40 days.

Put the two infusions together and add the sugar. When the sugar has
dissolved, filter the liquid through filter paper then bottle.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

And for something a bit quicker

Liqueur de fraises et framboises preparee en quelques heures
(strawberry and raspberry liqueurs made in a few hours)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

1 & 1/2 pound strawberries
12 oz. ripe raspberries
1 lb. sugar
vanilla
a few coriander seeds
1 & 3/4 pint old Armagnac brandy
( a good cognac, the best being Grande Champagne (not to be
confused with the sparkling champagne wine) or a california brandy is an
acceptable substitute. California brandy is aged about for to six
years, in either new or used white oak barrels. Unlike the French
brandies, no old stocks from "good years" are kept on hand for blending
(or that so rarely as to make those that are very exspensive) dont let
this discourage you from tyring the American brandies, espiecially for
use in the "home made" liquors described here)

Wash the strawberries and put into a bowl with the raspberries.
Prepare a syrup with the sugar and boil it to 219 Degrees F. Add a
little vanilla flavouring and the coriander seeds. Cool and pour over
the fruit. Cover and leave to soak for 3 - 4 hours.
Put a double or triple piece of cheese cloth over a basin and pour the
fruit and syrup through and lit it drip very gently to get a clear
liquid. Mix the syrup with the brandy, then bottle.

Infusion of this kind made with syrup and good Armagnac can be made
quickly and will retain the flavour of the fruit.

-------------------------------------

If you have the time and circumstances, i.e. a wall near a pear, peach
or apple tree that a clear wine bottle can be affixed to so that a
budding branch may be inserted and the fruit let grow in side the
bottle. Then once the fruit has ripened, remove the bottle from the wall
where it has been securely affixed, rinse (some prefere to carefully
pour in boiling water to lightly poach the fruit, but this runs the risk
of cracking or breaking the bottle) then pour in a good clear brandy,
cork and set aside for a year.

Over time the fruit will deteriorate with out spoilage and the fruit
flavoured brandy will have to be rebottled.
--
JL




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Old 20-02-2004, 01:18 AM
Jerry Avins
 
Posts: n/a
Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

See the thread "Alcohol-hic fruit"

Jerry
--
Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get.
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
Evan wrote:

This weekend my housemate and I are going to try some homemade
liqueur-making. The stuff I'm starting with will be mostly citrus
liqueurs or citrus-flavored (undiluted/unsweetend) vodkas.

In addition to some clear vodka-based recipes cut with plenty of
simple syrup, I want to try to make a more intense, Grand Marnier-like
brandy-based liqueur.

However, I know next to nothing about brandy. Obviously I don't want
to spend top dollar for an experimental recipe, but I don't want to
cut it too cheap either lest the product be doomed from the start.
:-)

So, what brandies would you suggest for an upstart homemade liqueur
hobbyist?

Thanks and cheers,

E




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Old 21-02-2004, 03:37 AM
MH
 
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Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?


"Evan" wrote in message
om...
This weekend my housemate and I are going to try some homemade
liqueur-making. The stuff I'm starting with will be mostly citrus
liqueurs or citrus-flavored (undiluted/unsweetend) vodkas.

In addition to some clear vodka-based recipes cut with plenty of
simple syrup, I want to try to make a more intense, Grand Marnier-like
brandy-based liqueur.

However, I know next to nothing about brandy. Obviously I don't want
to spend top dollar for an experimental recipe, but I don't want to
cut it too cheap either lest the product be doomed from the start.
:-)

So, what brandies would you suggest for an upstart homemade liqueur
hobbyist?

Thanks and cheers,

E


I make apple brandy quite often. I just buy something at Trader Joe's. It
turns out great. I place the sliced apples in a large glass jar with the
brandy and let them sit for 2 months. Then, I strain it and add 1 cup
water/1 cup sugar heated and mixed. I let that sit anothre 2 months.

It's awesome!

Martha


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Old 25-02-2004, 06:11 AM
Evan
 
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Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

"The Ranger" wrote in message ...
Christian Brothers' brandy; versatile and if you ruin a couple batches you
won't choke on the cost.


Excellent, thanks for the suggestion. To my great luck, it turned out
one of the Costco warehouses near me had 1.75 L bottles of Christian
Brothers' for $12.95.

If the experiments turn out, I'll go back and make it with cognac, or
a mixture of nice brandies.

E
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Old 25-02-2004, 07:06 AM
Evan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

Donna Rose wrote in message nk.net...
In article ,
says...
In addition to some clear vodka-based recipes cut with plenty of
simple syrup, I want to try to make a more intense, Grand Marnier-like
brandy-based liqueur.

I'd love to see your Grand-Marnier recipe. What sort of vodka-based
liqueurs are you making?


Well, really I'm guessing at it. One of my primary sources is Gunther
Anderson's lovely liqueur-making website:
http://www.guntheranderson.com/liqueurs.htm.

My attempt to get a tangerine-flavored version of a Grand Marnier-like
liqueur will probably look something like this:

* rinds of 8 or so tangerines, just the colored rind with no white
pith
* 2.5 cups of brandy
(optional - a small amount of spice, possibly including a single pod
or seed of cardamom and/or coriander, or a sliver off the end of a
cinnamon stick)
* .75 cups of orange blossom honey
* .75 cups of simple syrup made from light brown sugar and filtered
water

Put tangerine rinds, brandy, and spice into a mason jar and steep in
the back of a cabinet for about a month. Remove solids and filter
twice through coffee filters. Boil honey and brown sugar syrup
together, skimming off beeswax foam. Cool the mixed syrup, add to the
infused brandy, and put back in the cabinet in a sealed mason jar to
age for at least 2 months. Remove and filter again. Should make
about 1 liter of 50-proof liqueur.

Variants to try are all honey or sugar instead of a mix, and altering
the amount of tangerine rind.

As for the vodka-based ones, I want to try infusing whole pierced
tangerines or tangerine quarters into vodka, thus including some of
the juice. Either keeping that just as a flavored vodka, or mixed
50-50 with a simple syrup of white sugar for a clear, sweet 40-proof
liqueur more like triple sec.

I just love tangerines, and nobody seems to sell a good tangerine
liqueur these days. :-)

Various other flavors I plan to try are ginger, cranberry, and lemon.

And I'm tempted to infuse limes into tequila, but I know too much
about good tequila to do it with the cheap stuff...

E
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Old 25-02-2004, 06:13 PM
Gunther Anderson
 
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Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

Evan wrote:
Donna Rose wrote in message nk.net...

I'd love to see your Grand-Marnier recipe. What sort of vodka-based
liqueurs are you making?


Well, really I'm guessing at it. One of my primary sources is Gunther
Anderson's lovely liqueur-making website:
http://www.guntheranderson.com/liqueurs.htm.


Glad to know people are finding it useful. I really need to go through
and update it...

My attempt to get a tangerine-flavored version of a Grand Marnier-like
liqueur will probably look something like this:


I'll admit I don't have nearly as much experience working with orange
peels as I'd like. But how much is the rind actually like the flesh of
an orange? That is, do you really find rind-based liqueurs get some of
the flavor of the underlying fruit? It'd be cool if it worked that way,
but I have (unsubstantiated) doubts.

Of course, my next citrus liqueur is going to come from the calamondin
orange tree in my living room. We're about 2 or 3 weeks from maturity
with its very first fruiting. And we've got dozens of fruit coming
along nicely.

(optional - a small amount of spice, possibly including a single pod
or seed of cardamom and/or coriander, or a sliver off the end of a
cinnamon stick)


If you decide to go with this option, I'd actually caution you about
being too stingy with the spices. Not that you want to overpower the
orange, but nor do you want to be too subtle here. Likewise, you can
always add more orange peel. OK, I confess, I'm a fan of stronger
flavors. When you get to the cranberry, you'll see...

Variants to try are all honey or sugar instead of a mix, and altering
the amount of tangerine rind.


Well, one thing you can do is decide to add more peel after the fact.
There's no reason you can't finish the liqueur, decide it's too weak in
the orange department, toss in another few peels, and steep again for
another month. It saves you from losing the entire batch.

As for the vodka-based ones, I want to try infusing whole pierced
tangerines or tangerine quarters into vodka, thus including some of
the juice. Either keeping that just as a flavored vodka, or mixed
50-50 with a simple syrup of white sugar for a clear, sweet 40-proof
liqueur more like triple sec.


One caveat about quartering tangerines is that you will be exposing the
liqueur to the dreaded white pith (even if just at the edges of the
quarters). You may find it more useful to throw peels and juice in a
jar, since I can't imagine you're going to get any nice flavors from the
inner membranes or seeds

I just love tangerines, and nobody seems to sell a good tangerine
liqueur these days. :-)


Indeed...

Various other flavors I plan to try are ginger, cranberry, and lemon.


If you get a good tangerine recipe, try tossing in a tablespoon or two
of grated ginger. I've been looking for a good orange/ginger liqueur
for a while. OK, I haven't been looking _too_ hard, and we only got our
wonderful Microplane zester/grater last year, and I haven't made an
attempt since. But our orange-ginger sorbet is so amazingly good that a
comparable liqueur would have to be, too...

And I'm tempted to infuse limes into tequila, but I know too much
about good tequila to do it with the cheap stuff...


Simple, light infusions should be done with good stuff, I'll agree.
It's only when you get to the level of calling something a liqueur does
the required quality go down. That is, when you're drinking more fruit
than booze.

Anyway, glad to hear of some good experiments going on out there.

Gunther Anderson

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Old 28-02-2004, 03:22 AM
Evan
 
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Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

Gunther Anderson wrote in message news: I'll admit I don't have nearly as much experience working with orange

peels as I'd like. But how much is the rind actually like the flesh of
an orange? That is, do you really find rind-based liqueurs get some of
the flavor of the underlying fruit? It'd be cool if it worked that way,
but I have (unsubstantiated) doubts.


Well, I would be inclined to doubt it as well, given how much I like
citrus juice. However, every recipe I've ever seen for limoncello or
grand marnier uses only the rind. Even the Grand Marnier website
specifically lists macerated orange rinds as their infusion flavoring.
So, I'm inclined to give it a try.

Besides, think of how remarkable the aroma and flavor is of just a
single strip of lemon rind twisted over a martini glass full of gin.
A little lemon rind oil goes a *long* way.

Tangerines might need more effort, though, because their rinds are
relatively thin and dry, compared to oranges and lemons. I'll probably
try some jars with just rinds and some with chunks of fruit as well.
And yes, if they're not infused enough after 3-4 weeks, more rind and
fruit and back in the cupboard they go.

If you decide to go with this option, I'd actually caution you about
being too stingy with the spices. Not that you want to overpower the
orange, but nor do you want to be too subtle here. Likewise, you can
always add more orange peel. OK, I confess, I'm a fan of stronger
flavors. When you get to the cranberry, you'll see...


Also a fan of strong flavors. I'll try variants and see how it goes.

One caveat about quartering tangerines is that you will be exposing the
liqueur to the dreaded white pith (even if just at the edges of the
quarters). You may find it more useful to throw peels and juice in a
jar, since I can't imagine you're going to get any nice flavors from the
inner membranes or seeds


Possibly true. Though didn't you discover you needed the pulp, not
just the juice, in pomegranate liqueur at least?

If you get a good tangerine recipe, try tossing in a tablespoon or two
of grated ginger. ... our orange-ginger sorbet is so amazingly good that a
comparable liqueur would have to be, too...


Sounds fantastic. Since I'll be making ginger liqueur as well anyway,
the first attempt may be just to mix the two in different proportions
to get a sense of how much of each flavor to use in a combined
version.

And I'm tempted to infuse limes into tequila, but I know too much
about good tequila to do it with the cheap stuff...


Simple, light infusions should be done with good stuff, I'll agree.
It's only when you get to the level of calling something a liqueur does
the required quality go down. That is, when you're drinking more fruit
than booze.


Even so, I just can't quite see making a lime/tequila liqueur out of
Cuervo Gold. I'll at *least* have to get something that's not a
mixto...

Anyway, thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to let you know how it
goes. We've now collected 7L of vodka, 2L, a dozen jars, and 1000
coffee filters, so we will probably begin experimenting this weekend.
Costco is a heck of a resource. :-) Very much looking forward to it!

Ev


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Old 28-02-2004, 03:20 PM
Gunther Anderson
 
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Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

Evan wrote:

Gunther Anderson wrote in message news: I'll admit I don't have nearly as much experience working with orange

peels as I'd like. But how much is the rind actually like the flesh of
an orange? That is, do you really find rind-based liqueurs get some of
the flavor of the underlying fruit? It'd be cool if it worked that way,
but I have (unsubstantiated) doubts.


Well, I would be inclined to doubt it as well, given how much I like
citrus juice. However, every recipe I've ever seen for limoncello or
grand marnier uses only the rind. Even the Grand Marnier website
specifically lists macerated orange rinds as their infusion flavoring.
So, I'm inclined to give it a try.


Oh, there's a good reason for using the rinds - the oils and flavors you
get out of the rinds are much more stable than the stuff in the juice.
It also doesn't dilute your alcohol like juice does. And finally, when
dissolved in alcohol, it just tastes more like real oranges. To get the
same effect with juice, you'd need to reduce it a lot to concentrate it
to the point that it would still taste like oranges when you added it to
vodka. Normally, juice and vodka (as a liqueur rathre than a cocktail)
just tastes like watery OJ. And it doesn't age well at all.

What I was wondering is how much the variations in peel come through in
the final liqueur, and how predictable they are - like do tangerine
peels taste like tangerines. Now, some liqueurs are pretty particular
about the oranges they use. Like Grand Marnier itself is all about
Seville orange rinds - a bitter, virtually inedible orange variety whose
rind is supposedly the only true way to make marmalade.

Besides, think of how remarkable the aroma and flavor is of just a
single strip of lemon rind twisted over a martini glass full of gin.
A little lemon rind oil goes a *long* way.


Yup. Which is why you almost never see lemon juice in a liqueur recipe,
but lemon rind is everywhere...

One caveat about quartering tangerines is that you will be exposing the
liqueur to the dreaded white pith (even if just at the edges of the
quarters). You may find it more useful to throw peels and juice in a
jar, since I can't imagine you're going to get any nice flavors from the
inner membranes or seeds


Possibly true. Though didn't you discover you needed the pulp, not
just the juice, in pomegranate liqueur at least?


Yup. It was definitely key, and I think it was the tannins I was
getting. But I think you'll get the same benefit from the rind pf your
tangerines. However, if you've a mind to, go ahead. I'm always
interested in the results of fiendish experimentation.

Anyway, thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to let you know how it
goes. We've now collected 7L of vodka, 2L, a dozen jars, and 1000
coffee filters, so we will probably begin experimenting this weekend.
Costco is a heck of a resource. :-) Very much looking forward to it!


Cool. We're bottling some pomegranate this weekend (I need to go get
some bottles), and expermineting with Cinnamon Hearts liqueur - which is
basically a bag (7 oz) of cinnamon hearts powdered in a blender, added
to 2 cups of vodka, and then add water until you can drink it. Should
go over well at a hot foods party we're going to...

Gunther Anderson

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Old 29-02-2004, 03:14 AM
Martin Golding
 
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Default Brandy rec for liqueur-making?

On Sat, 28 Feb 2004 10:20:02 +0000, Gunther Anderson wrote:
Evan wrote:
Gunther Anderson wrote in message news:
But how much is the rind actually like the flesh of
an orange? That is, do you really find rind-based liqueurs get some of
the flavor of the underlying fruit?


Yes and no. Or, no and yes.

Well, I would be inclined to doubt it as well, given how much I like
citrus juice.


The juice is different. You get three distinct products using peel, juice,
or both. The peel is much easier, I've found it difficult to clear the
pectin from juice based liqueurs.


However, every recipe I've ever seen for limoncello or
grand marnier uses only the rind. Even the Grand Marnier website
specifically lists macerated orange rinds as their infusion flavoring.


Those being citrus peel liqueurs, it's not particularly surprising that
they specify using peels. There are other options.


Oh, there's a good reason for using the rinds - the oils and flavors you
get out of the rinds are much more stable than the stuff in the juice.
It also doesn't dilute your alcohol like juice does. And finally, when
dissolved in alcohol, it just tastes more like real oranges.


No. It tastes more like real orange peel, which is not at all a bad thing,
but not much at all like juice.


To get the
same effect with juice, you'd need to reduce it a lot to concentrate it
to the point that it would still taste like oranges when you added it to
vodka.


Or just start with concentrated alcohol. In this benighted country, the
21st amendment returned to the states the right to regulate alcohol.
Anybody who's wondering whether the commerce clause was a good idea need
only look at the hodgepodge of stupid and punitive laws surrounding
alcohol. Like, forinstance, I can't get Ethel M's liqueur chocolates
in Oregon or Washington (more than three proof, ergo a regulated beverage,
if you can imagine getting drunk on chocolate covered cherries). Equally,
in many states, it's not possible to get high proof alcohol. Fortunately,
Oregon has not yet gone stupid.


Normally, juice and vodka (as a liqueur rathre than a cocktail)
just tastes like watery OJ. And it doesn't age well at all.


RTFM "ratafia", particularly orange. Besides the merely anecdotal
evidence of my own experience (lemon ratafia mostly, from exquisite
(possibly Meyer's) lemons collected in San Diego), there are centuries
(at least) of tradition.


What I was wondering is how much the variations in peel come through in
the final liqueur, and how predictable they are - like do tangerine
peels taste like tangerines.


Extremely. Same for lemon and orange, and whatever those little round
orange citrus with green flesh are, and some wierd citrus called "Buddha's
hand" a liqueur of which I've tasted, but cannot for the life of me
recall who made it. I have no idea whether anyone could distinguish
kumquat.

Martin
--
Martin Golding | If I'd wanted all that water in my beer,
Dod #0236 KotLQ | why would I have paid so much to have it dehydrated?



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